As we travel the world, we see so many new and wonderful places, we meet so many new and wonderful people. No two places look the same, no two faces look the same. God surely is a God of diversity.
The Bible tells us: " Man is the crown of God's creation". Some one else once said: "A stranger is just a friend you do not know". Both of these statements we've experienced first hand during our travels. Sometimes we spent a few hours with some one, sometimes a few minutes. Sometimes we ate / drank coffee together, sometimes we only talked. Always it has been a blessing, always…
Many people (ourselves included) pray for us for divine connections. I always thought that this is people one meet with whom you will work/network/partner with in future . But I was wrong, it's not. Divine connections, which God so often give us, is so much more than that. It's people we meet who bless us in some way or another, people with whom we can share our life and learn about their life, people from whom we can learn something (big or small), people who give us a prophetic word or vice versa, people with whom we can share or laugh or feel content with for a while. All these people are divine connections , people we meet because of God's bigger plan and because He works with each one of us individually. People we meet of whom we think afterwards: "It was such a blessing meeting you."
I want to go down memory lane and mention a few of these special appointments. By doing this I want to remind myself of God's Love for us and thank every person in my heart once again.
Some of these divine connections were people like the nurse in Phuket hospital. God used Dawie's amputated finger to restore her faith in Him. Other blessed meetings were those with Theunis and Marlise and their friends in Singapore.
The pastor of City Harvest Church in Singapore, who managed to fit us into his busy schedule, Kong Hee. Gai and Joe, home exchange hosts in Australia, who not only spoiled us while we were there, but still had to forward Dawie J's forgotten Croccie on to us! Also Peter, Dawn and Laura , Ralph and Margaret who blessed us with the barn, a car and many special meals in New Zealand.
More divine connection in New Zeeland were Jaco and Mari and Greg at City Impact Church. Greg even sent us a DVD and a note to our Montana house - we appreciated it so much.
The Van Wyks , Enid and Vernon and 2 sons, were offcourse also a very precious connection – although not a new one, but confirming that we as family can pick up a sentence where we last stopped, hearts beating on the same rhythm. The divine thing of this connection, for me was that although we know each other so well, we could bless each other in new and fresh ways! There were more people, many where we were not even officially introduced, but they made an impact. Those are some of the Divine Connections in the East and Down under. God is faithful and full of Goodness and Mercy. We looked forward to each of the divine connections still to come and prayed that we will not miss any single opportunity to build into any other person's life and allow them the same in ours.
As I said, God is faithful. He knows exactly what (or who) we need, so He continued with many more divine appointments. In Los Angeles it was Donna, who helped us and we could pray for her on her birthday. We also met Mark and his friend at Saddleback church. They head up Saddleback's International Ministries.
Yet another very significant meeting was the one with Apostle Fred Price and his wife Betty, as well as their leadership team of Crenshaw Christian Centre. It was a privilege to thank them for the work that their ministry does in Namibia and offer to help with arrangements for their visit in 2010. Great people who not only preach on Faith, but live it. I must include our re-connection with Charlie in LA as a significant one as well. That made our family whole again. Praise God that the absence was only temporarily...
On the boat we obviously met many different crew members (they represent 57 countries), spent a few minutes together, but not significant time with any particular person.
The reason why I mention them in this "divine connection" category, is the impact they had on me in the way they do their job. They work long hours every day of the 7 day cruise, then they return to a small cabin, which they share with 3 others to sleep. When we are in a port, some of them can go on shore for a few hours. The boat returns to Seattle every Saturday Morning and sail out that same Saturday afternoon. On board is a new, fresh, eager group of tourists and the exact same crew. But they are so friendly and enthusiastic, the guests think that it must be the crew's 1st week on the job! They deliver Service with excellence and they continue to do it 7 days a week, 10 months of the year – non stop. No complaining or demonstrations, always friendly although no extra pay for longer hours. Why? "Because they are so grateful to have a job." " The salary is not that big, but it is something." And " if they want to keep it, they must produce!" We surely can learn from them...
And then there was Whitefish, Montana. Yes, a divine place God included in our tour, which naturally also produced divine connections : Ben and Virginia, our home exchange hosts who blessed us, the people at Four Square Gospel church who welcomed us into their family and the Ogles. Paul and Angelita Ogle, the Pastor and his wife was definitely part of God's Divine planning and we were blessed in so many more ways than receiving wonderful meals at their house. It remains a connection in my heart, because I regularly have the desire to pray God's blessings upon them and then I listen to my heart. We have family in Whitefish...
Interruption in my own thought - Something else, not on the topic of divine connections, but on the happenings in Whitefish: Thinking back on God's many blessings , I've realized that the money that we gave away in Montana, taking a big bite out of our budget, God has restored that back unto us 5 fold! Have I mentioned lately that we serve an awesome God?!)
Canada yet again was God's place for divine connections. It actually started in August '08 in Namibia, when our home exchange hosts visited us there and we could greet as friends on the Toronto airport. The abundance of their blessings stowed upon us, is much more than a detailed summary can explain. The "whole package" was just special, extra special. Brian, Judy, Oliver and Francis were a practical lesson of hospitality, generosity, blessing , working with excellence and precious family times, to us.
Now we are in Atlanta. Everyone knows already of the one Divine Appointment we had here so far. Boy oh boy, I wrote a whole blog on our time with Dr. Bruce Wilkinson! I don't have to write more now, but we continue to praise God for His Divine Surprises!
As I write, I am overwhelmed with God's Goodness and Kindness and the fact that His Glory really can shine through people. His plan is that we should love one another, then we can taste heaven on earth. That is surely what we have been tasting the past 6 months. Yes, I can see that man is the crown of God's Creation. May we be faithful, and honour that with our lives.
There is another divine connection that I appreciate very much. I always had, but have come to cherish it more and more. This one is a "permanent" connection of which I am part and so grateful for. It is my family.
We were always a close knit family and enjoyed spending life together. (Most probably a reason why we decided to take on a world tour!) But even so, I thought it would be a challenge to spend ALL our time together. I was wrong. Praise the Lord!! It is glorious to spend all this time together. Remember, it is
24hrs a day, 7 days a week, now already for 6 months. And it is getting better and better.
Some time ago I realized that I usually say: "I appreciate EVERYTHING about them so much", and that is not good enough. I must focus on each individually and be specific in what I adore and cherish and appreciate. I tell them continuously and specifically that nowadays, but I will still write it as well – another day.
For now, I treasure every divine connection so far and look forward to more to come, 'cause I know they are waiting on us. May we be ready and obedient.